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the house that fire built
:...:.::. ::. :::..::.

March 2007
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Hermes Maiados Huios [userpic]
If you're a long way from home, can't sleep at night.

Ring-ring! Telephone. Calling the Sherman-Townshend residence! Anyone home?

Current Music: Evil - Howlin' Wolf

Henry is actually at home! Which is not too surprising, considering he has no job at the moment. He answers the phone. "Hello?"

"Hey, I'm not interrupting or anything? If I am, I'll pretend to be a telemarketer."

Henry shakes his head, which is more than useless in the currently empty house. "You're not at all, Hermes....I've been falling asleep reading Bureau reports, Liz is out working, and I think Warren's off with JP." He has no idea where John is right now, so he stays quiet on that.

"So...uh, how're you doing?" That's always a good question to start off on, right?

"See, I should be falling asleep, but I'm not. I'm not reading reports either, and I'm sort of..." Some random squawky noise of discontent! "Ferklempt. Is that a word? If not, it is now and I am it."

"You want some hot chocolate? Or juice? I could do with some."

Ferklempt is a word now. Hey, it makes sense to Henry! It's not a good word, though, and Hermes didn't answer his question. So Henry's a little worried. He does that well.

"Yeah, actually...if you'd like to come over, I can make us some hot chocolate. With marshmellows, if you want them." He's a little embarrassed about it, but he always makes sure he gets marshmellows for hot chocolate. It's important.

"Really? I love the marshmallows. I usually give mine to Lamby, but I'd really like to have some of my own. I'll be over in a jiffy, if that's good? I can bring over something? Like a blanket or some strawberries?"

"Yeah, uh, strawberries sound really good, actually...." He hasn't seen fruit in awhile. Colorado's been even more snowy than usual, and the grocery stores seem to be lucky to have milk, lately. "Blankets I think we're set on, but thank you....come on over."

In a little while, there's a knock-a-knocking at the door and slightly worn Hermes with a basket and LARGE blanket. What? He likes his blankets, especially this one. It's extra snuggly.

"Hey, umm, I brought strawberries, grapes and a copy of 'Blues Brothers'. It's got Illinois Nazis."

Henry stares at all of these things and smiles, ushering Hermes in. "Sounds interesting. I've never seen it before..." Yes, Henry has never seen the Blues Brothers. He has lived in a cave for several years.

Henry's got the hot chocolate made and warming on the stove. "I'll go...uh, put the hot chocolate in mugs? Make yourself comfortable. Oh, and...uhm, Liz'll be home soon, I think. She called to say so." A bit wider of a smile, here. He's really happy how things are going with Liz right now.

"They're the worst kind of Nazis." This is a simple fact.

"Thanks, I'll do that." He toes off his shoes, sheds a heap of scarves, mitts, hat, and all the rest of his wintery things, before heading into the living room to build a proper blanket'n'pillow nest.

"Are they, really?" It's uncertain whether Henry is taking this seriously or not.

Regardless, he heads to the kitchen and pours them both a mug of hot chocolate (of course with marshmallows), which he suspects will go really well with strawberries. He carries the mugs out and sets both of them on the coffee table. "Are you feeling any less...uh...ferklempt yet?" he asks as he looks for a good spot to sit.

"Really, it's because of the paint-by-numbers kits." Hermes is acting serious, but it's all a bluff.

"A little. The blankets and chocolate help." If Henry wants, there's room in his blanket-nest, lots of spare pillows to. "Should I press play?"

That just seems to make Henry confused, but he doesn't seem to mind. He's sort of used to being confused. He just nods and moves along.

"Sure, go ahead." Henry looks over some of the other chairs, but the spot in with the blankets looks too comfortable. He decides to go ahead and flop down into them. "And...well...I'm glad it's helping. If...uh, talking would help, too, though, you know you can..." He means talking about whatever's bugging Hermes, but of course he's terrible at getting things out the right way. He knows it's awkward- it's another thing he's used to.

Strawberry? Grape? Hermes offers the bowl and readjusts the blankets; he's very good at hiding in them.

"Thanks, Henry. I, umm, not right now, I think. It's just that, that things are changing and I like change, I do, but I don't always deal well with it." Belushi and Aykroyd, can it get any better than this?

"Oh, sure..." Henry nods. He would never push someone to talk about things if they didn't feel like it. He'd rather they didn't do that to him, so he feels that's only fair.

So he takes the fruit and settles in for some movie-watching, chuckling at the movie occasionally. Okay, so this is much better than reading reports.

At some point in the movie, with no preamble, Hermes launches into the heart of the issue.

"When I came to the Nexus, I could barely open a Door. No power, nothing, I'd been living as a human for so long and I'd forgotten so much. It's taken me years to even scratch at what I once was and now, now I'm a god again, really, truly, properly a god. Different than I was before, but I have power again."

"I don't miss being human, not at all. I don't feel bad for how I used Norman, and I did, I used him terribly. I, I can't even say I don't know what to do, because I do. It's...I don't know, I think I was humanish for too long, I want to be upset, conflicted, but I'm not."

"Uh...." It takes Henry a second to move from movie to serious discussion. Especially when it has godliness involved. "How...how did you use him? I don't know if it's..." He's searching for something that will help, something that's concise and supportive. "It sounds like you're upset about not being upset."

He runs a hand through his hair and pushes himself further into the couch. Is it an attempt to get comfortable? Is it an attempt to hide? Who knows?

"He wanted me. He wanted me enough that I could use him to leave my world and fully come into the Nexus." Pause. "People feel bad for me because of the things I 'put up with' from Norman. When we've fought, things like that. I made him happy, I really did and it didn't use him all up, he's not like a corn husk doll or anything, but, but I've never been good with ...I don't know."

Hiding in the couch sounds great. Let's watch Hermes as he disappears under some more blankets.

Henry frowns, although it's hard to tell because it doesn't show up in his face very well. He mostly just seems thoughtful. "So...if he's been happy, and he wanted you, and...he brought you here....what did you do that was so bad? I mean...uh, don't answer if you don't want to, I'm just...uhm, confused."

"I don't know, that's that thing. I've done a few less charitable things to him as well -- he'd gone mad, gone blind, all the rest of the things I warned him about. Still, the idiot stayed."

"...and now he's gone. He's leaving me, did you know? When I said that since he's been gone for so long, off with his new organization, when he's been gone and I only see him every other weekend, when I said I was thinking about seeing other people, he, he wasn't mad. He didn't throw things, didn't rage, he smiled and was happy for me. Patronizing fucker, like I'd 'grown up' somehow."

"No children, no legacy, nothing but a couple years and then we'll trade cards on holidays while he goes back to living a 'normal' life."

"Hmmm." If Henry knew what 'normal' is for Norman Osborn, he might ask about that. As it is, he's not sure what to say. It's a tough situation. Henry decides some hair-petting is in order, provided he can find where Hermes is hiding in the blankets.

"I...I'm sorry. It sounds like you both grew apart, but I don't know much about that. It also sounds like you both sort of 'used' each other, but he...he was done before you were...?" It's a good thing he has something to do with his hands. He's feeling rather fidgety. "Are you going to see other people?" It's not the best subject in the world, but it's something else to talk about.

It's possible that some of Hermes is peeking out through the blankets and pillows - just enough for hair-petting. "I think that's it. We're...when we first met, I tried to explain to him that I'm not a good person. I can be good, very good, but I'm never really a person."

"I don't know. I want kids. I'm at a point where I can support them properly and with the reality hiccough we just had, I know what they'd be like. I have pictures of kids I don't have and probably never will have -- not those exact children, anyway."

Henry nods. He's not entirely sure he understands it, but he thinks he might be able to. Hermes isn't a person, he's a god. Easy to say, harder to wrap your mind around.

"You...oh. When you said you were remembering things differently, when that weird time stuff happened- that was one of the differences? You had kids? I'm...I'm really sorry." Henry's never gotten along terribly well with kids, and he's never really felt like he needed to have any. But if he did... "I...god, I can't imagine losing them like that." Hair-petting won't exactly help that, but Henry continues anyway.

"I didn't really lose them, I never had them, and the me that did went back to his kids. He just left wallet-pictures and drawings on the fridge." A wry smile, "Like I said, I really can be a bastard."

How's that for a none too subtle hint that he should leave Norman and work on having a bastard or two?

"Yeah....that really wasn't too nice of him."

Henry sighs and leans more towards Hermes. "It's still a loss...I'm sorry. But yeah, you can still have kids, right? Uh...like you said. They won't be exactly the same, but they'll still be yours."

"Yeah, I can. I will. I'll get over all of this and quicker than I should." Snuggle? Hey, look at the movie, they're singing again.

"...thanks, Henry."

Henry smiles wide, looking pleased. "You're welcome...glad I helped some."

Yes, there's snuggling. Henry may go so far as to dig through the blankets to give Hermes a hug. The poor god could use one.

Hey, look at that movie. There seems to be quite a bit of singing in it, in fact. "I think I like this movie," Henry says quietly, still smiling a little.

Hermes is surprisingly huggable and might even squeak a little. Shh.

"It's really good. Carrie Fisher is completely mental." It's 106 miles to Chicago and Henry is on a couch with a god. Life is good.